Samurai Jack Creator Explains New Season's Dark Direction

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<i>Samurai Jack</i> Creator Explains New Season's Dark Direction

We’re all very excited about the return of Samurai Jack over here at Paste, after the show’s 13-year hiatus. As we excitedly began to see trailers for the forthcoming season, there’s a noticeably different tone coming into the new season. Well, The Creators Project recently talked to Genndy Tartakovsky, the creator of Samurai Jack, about the change in tone for the fifth and final season of the show.

“We knew we had to make the tone darker. This story is Jack’s ending, and so it’s driven to a more dramatic conclusion,” Tartakovsky says. “He’s breaking down. He’s losing his mind, he’s losing his hope, he’s losing his will.” This is very evident in the trailer, as we’re shown a warrior broken down by the 50 years stuck in a timeline that’s not his own. He’s a man out of time, desperate to get home. He’s also got a dope beard, and is using a machine gun in the trailer—always a win.

Tartakovsky also talked about the new narrative direction, embracing their new capability of an over-arching episodic story, saying, “The first four seasons, we weren’t allowed to do episodic stories. Back then no one was doing episodic storytelling. You couldn’t have a lot of change in Jack, because if they wanted to run episodes out of order, all of a sudden he’s one way here and another way there. So we had to keep him as a stoic samurai unfazed by anything.”

“There’s no way we could keep the Scotsman away. I can proudly give away that he will be returning,” Tartakovsky said, commenting on the elements that haven’t changed. “The execution of the storytelling is the biggest thing. The musical sequences, the quietness, the pacing, the lack of dialogue. The handcrafted look, the storytelling from a visual point of view. Those elements define the show, and we wanted them to be the same.” Right on. It’s very exciting that Tartakovsky and his team have amped up the stakes, without losing any of the things that made Samurai Jack work so well.

There’s nothing else like Samurai Jack out there, and you should be just as pumped as we are to get back to Jack and his adventure. And hopefully, he’ll make it back to his family this time. Samurai Jack comes back to Adult Swim on March 11. Check out the really awesome trailers here.

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